Elections: Should children go to the polls?

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Elections
American mother and daughter

An American mother and daughter talking. (Photo by “Marty” posted for public use via Wikimedia Commons.)

The turnout in November’s election was appalling, the lowest in over 70 years. Just over a third of eligible voters (34%) voted. Would the turnout have been better if more voters had gone to the polls when they were children?

No state had more than 60% of its eligible voters show up, notes the New York Times in its compilation of election results. Maine had the highest turnout (59%); Indiana had the lowest (28%). In 43 states, voter turnout was less than 50%.

Those who remember going to polls with their parents were more likely to vote, according to the post-election survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. Three of four (74%) Americans who recalled going to the polls with their parents said they voted on November 4th. About six of ten of Americans who said they didn’t go to the polls with their parents reported that they voted.

So, turnout might have been better if more Americans had gone to the ballot box with their parents. Of course, this is only one factor. But it’s a worthwhile one to remember especially when we think about the effects we have on our children.

Turnout in my home state of Michigan (almost 43%) was above the national average. I voted, but didn’t bring my son to the polls as I have done before. But I did make a point of bringing home my “I VOTED” sticker and affixed it to his music stand. I made sure he noticed that I had voted.

Should children go to the polls?
Do you recall going when you were a kid?
Do you (or did you) bring your children to the polls?

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